The Benefits of using a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP)

Using a managed IT service provider (MSP) is often an appealing option for a company looking to outsource the support of their entire IT infrastructure. 

Maintaining modern IT systems requires a specific and high-leveled knowledge base, which you can tap into by utilizing an MSP. As a bonus, managed IT services also provide solutions to some of the problems accompanying in-house IT services.

IT Support

There are many benefits to an MSP.

Managed IT services are a great option for small- or medium-sized companies looking for redundancy, knowledge and cost savings when it comes to addressing their IT needs.

Managed IT services monitor and manage your IT network remotely. An MSP can detect problems and solve issues before they cause disruption, give you insight into your IT system, and address technology needs as they arise.

There are four primary benefits of using managed IT services:

  1. Managed services offer redundancy.
  2. MSP engineers are knowledgeable.
  3. Managed services are cost-effective.
  4. Managed services are easy to find.

By touching on each of the above topics, we’ll give you an idea of what to expect with managed IT services. However, if you’re looking for a longer, more in-depth explanation of managed IT services, contact us for a personalized discussion.

1. Managed services offer redundancy.

The top benefit of choosing an MSP versus an in-house IT department is it provides redundancy.

With a managed service provider, you’ll have access to a technician ready to address your IT problems 24/7/365. 

In the world of managed services, redundancy means there are additional resources so you never go without service.

Like any other employee, an in-house IT technician takes sick days, vacations, or personal days. Often, IT issues aren’t resolved until that person returns to the office. Your assigned MSP technician will still have days he or she is out of the office, but redundancy ensures there is still a technician to address your problems.

Redundancy also prevents your IT technician from being overwhelmed by the requests that piled up while he or she was gone. With an MSP, you have a pool of resources at your disposal to keep your IT systems running smoothly.

This is also true for augmented managed IT services where an MSP supports your existing IT team. Your in-house IT folks can rely on the MSP to stay on top of requests when he or she is gone. 

With an MSP responsible for all your IT needs, the technicians support each other.

2. MSP technicians are knowledgeable.

To ensure an in-house IT team can address all levels of problems your IT system may encounter, you’d have to hire an extremely skilled employee. Some of the things your technician will have to know:

  • Windows and/or Mac operating systems
  • Network troubleshooting and set up
  • Virus and malware removal
  • Antivirus installation
  • Voice and email set up and troubleshooting
  • Writing and troubleshooting script
  • Troubleshooting and configuring web applications
  • IT stack set-up, configuration, and migrations
  • Network and security solutions
  • Routing protocols
  • Configuring hardware platforms

The majority of items on the list requires the knowledge of tier 1 or 2 (entry-level) technicians. The more complex components, like network and security solutions, routing protocols, and configuring hardware platforms, require a more experienced technician to address them. Those components of IT services are less common, though.

In other words, small- and medium-sized companies with in-house IT have to pay for more resources than they’ll need most of the time. They need the depth of expertise available for the instances when they’ll need to handle some of the more finicky components of your technology stack.

An MSP hires technicians with expertise in specific IT disciplines. This means they should have a representative with an answer to any problem you have.

3. Managed services are cost-effective.

For the amount of expertise you receive with managed IT services, you’ll have significant cost savings. Most managed IT service plans cost as much as the salary and benefits of a tier-1 or tier-2 engineer. 

Hiring an IT technician with the knowledge most companies need easily starts in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.

This doesn’t include the cost of benefits.

According to the US Department of Labor, the average employer pays around $24,000 per employee for paid leave, bonuses, overtime, insurance, retirement, and other legally required benefits.

Most small- and medium-sized businesses are hard-pressed to find a surplus in their budget of $125,000 or more for one employee.

With an MSP, you’ll pay less and get more. Your expense will cover continual service and provide you access to every skillset you need. 

The cost of managed IT services is complex. As a guide, you can expect to pay $500 per site for an audit and around $85 per user per month. You’ll also need to purchase a firewall for each site, if you don’t already a supported one in place. 

A year of managed IT services typically costs between $12,500 and $118,500, depending on your size and needs. The high end of the cost for managed services is still less than the low end of a salary and benefits for a qualified in-house technician.

4. MSPs do the recruitment for you

If the cost isn’t prohibitive in your IT plan, you might find yourself hindered when it comes to recruitment. To find someone with the mastery of the skills you’ll need in an in-house IT employee, you’re going to have to search far and wide to fill the position. 

Recruitment also costs more money, and the elusiveness of the right candidate can draw out the recruitment process and rack up a large bill. 

Without having to spend any additional money, a reliable MSP will assign you an technician who is a good match for your company. He or she will work closely with you, get to know your unique problems, what programs you rely on, and your company individually.

Even though you won’t choose the technician from the pool of candidates, you’ll still end up with an expert best suited for your company’s needs.

Not only does an MSP, like CREG Systems, provide the most for your money, but we’re also easy to find. 

Efficiency Quality Speed Cost
Increased Efficiency, Top Notch Quality, Increased Speed, Lower Costs

Where to Start

You could draft a job description for a highly skilled and knowledgeable IT technician, pay to post it online, and spend time (and money) on the recruiting process to ultimately end up with an expensive line item in your budget. 

However, if the process of hiring your own in-house technician sounds difficult and expensive, choosing an MSP provides a better, simpler option. 

If you’d like to learn more about how an MSP solution might be right for you and your business, contact us today for an in-depth discussion about your specific needs. (315)788-0000

Understanding Managed IT Services

Many of the services and products that we offer here at CREG Systems can be described as Managed IT Services. But for many, that term is pretty new and unfamiliar.

So what are Managed IT Services? How did the first Managed IT Services companies develop? Why do we think that your business may benefit from using Managed IT Services?

Read on to find answers to all your questions about Managed IT Services, the history of their development, and their benefits.

What are Managed IT Services?

By definition, “Managed IT Services” means the practice of outsourcing the management of IT functions and operations to a third-party contractor. The managed IT service provider takes on the responsibility for the monitoring, managing and any troubleshooting, as needed, of the IT systems within that business. That often includes maintenance of the core network, telephony and data, and other basic IT maintenance responsibilities like fixing outages and patch management.

As your local Northern New York Managed IT Services provider, CREG Systems wants to help you learn more about outsourcing your IT maintenance.

A quick history lesson: it all started with break-fixes

In the last decade, managed services, especially in the IT industry, have grown exponentially. It all started with companies who helped service small- to medium-sized networks. Smaller businesses, unlike their large counterparts, could not afford and support an internal full-service IT department.

Around the early 90’s, with the ramp up of new technology, even small business networks started becoming more complex. Many of those businesses started out with quite simple systems built by an amateur, and network service companies operated on a break-fix basis. That means that professional help was called only when necessary, like when something was broken and needed a fix.

Over time, network maintenance providers developed some procedures to send technicians on site periodically to perform a system review. That often included an overwhelming checklist to log usage, user information, disk and processor usage, and more.

The goal was to possibly find hints of issues that can be fixed before they occur. However, that was not that effective because the technician could only see the information for only that day and only knew of failures when alerted by the customer.

Also, the backup system was usually tested only during the tech visit, which often meant a week or more of missed backups. The systems would often have human-related errors because the technician would try to accommodate the end-user customer concern quickly during his visit, and have no time to inspect the root cause of the problem.

From reactive fixes to proactive maintenance

At that time, the hardware and software providers were developing new and better ways for the networks to indicate problems as early as possible. For example, the common Simple Network Management Protocol had been developing since the early 90’s and is still used for monitoring and maintenance.

But the very first systems that could monitor the networks and provide some useful data were very complex and expensive. Only large corporations with their huge networks could afford that. Smaller businesses needed a solution that would keep things in good shape and provide a predictable cost that they could count on.

So around the early 2000-s, network service companies started to come up with flat-rate service agreements and remote maintenance software. That allowed smaller companies to take advantage of the same benefits as the IT department at a large company would provide.

The IT industry changed from being reactive to broken devices to being proactive in providing continuous monitoring and maintenance. That started the Managed IT Services movement.

Why the break-fix approach is not good enough for your business

Your small or medium-sized business needs well-maintained technology to compete in today’s saturated market. But in many small businesses, both the budget and the IT resources are quite limited. If you don’t timely manage backups, security and patches, you are more likely to have to deal with an IT failure sooner or later. But if your business operates with a Managed IT Service, you are able to prevent any problems before they disrupt and harm your business, employees and customers.

A break-fix approach fixes problems as they come up. In other words, something needs to go wrong before you get professional service. That results in various delays, problems with performance, network security and frustrated customers, while you wait for the issue to be fixed.

Read our blog post on cybersecurity to learn more about avoiding the biggest security risks for your network.

We believe that a major part of the success of your business depends on a reliable network and well-managed IT system. Today, no organization can afford the risk of a break-fix approach, putting their productivity and network security on the line. Besides, deciding between different providers for each part of your system may delay finding the solution to your problem. You just don’t have time for that!

Here at CREG Systems, we provide comprehensive managed services for your peace of mind. Ask us about how we can help manage your company’s IT system.

Are Managed IT Services more expensive than Break-Fix Services?

No! Monitoring and managing your IT services will cost less than traditional break-fixes. Additionally, with a flat maintenance rate, you will know what to expect each step of the way.

Give us a call today to learn more about our maintenance rates. We can work with you and your specific needs to help you easily budget your IT services.

CREG Systems seeks to educate its customers about the telecom industry and the services we offer. We do so by giving you tools and information to help you learn more to empower and protect your business. Located in Watertown, NY, we serve our Northern New York customers in many areas of IT and telecommunications, including managed IT services. Click the button below to get in touch!